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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Epilepsy Services Foundation, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Epilepsy, Health, Health Care, Public Health

Mission: The Epilepsy Services Foundation, Inc. is committed to creating a better future and environment for persons affected by epilepsy in West Central Florida, including children, teens, young adults and their families. The office is located in Tampa, FL.

Results: ESF trained over 58 volunteers to be mentors who can provide education and support to other parents and families affected by epilepsy. ESF provided 25 camp scholarships for children and teens to participate in a medically-supervised camp, Camp Boggy Creek. ESF provided 20 scholarships for families to attend one of three Epilepsy Family Retreat Weekends. ESF provided 3 scholarships for University of South Florida medical students and residents to continue their pursuit of neurology as a medical focus. ESF provided 5 scholarships for persons affected by epilepsy to pursue their college degrees. ESF provided numerous epilepsy education programs to students, teachers, childcare workers and nurses in West Central Florida.

Target demographics: Persons affected by epilepsy, primarily children, teens, young adults & their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 800-1,000 persons

Geographic areas served: West Central Florida: Hillsborough, Polk, Hardee, Highlands, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando counties.

Programs: Information and Referral Education & Awareness Graces' Hope Hospital Visitation Program Support Groups Mentoring Project Access Emergency medications Fundraising Volunteer

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

ESF is truly a great organization, and I'm proud to be involved. The volunteers are passionate about their work, and Tom Orth is an all-star in running the organization. We have great projects, such as sending kids with epilepsy to Camp Boggy Creek and organizing meet-and-greets for those affected by epilepsy. ESF has not only raised awareness of epilepsy, but improved the lives of those who suffer with it. It doesn't hurt either that we have really fun fundraising events (I'm partial to the annual golf tournament and beer tasting events). I can't speak highly enough of ESF.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I stumbled upon the Epilepsy Services Foundation when I was looking for a walk to participate in when my son was newly diagnosed with epilepsy. That day of the walk was the first time I felt someone truly listened and was interested in our story. ESF made such an impact on my entire family that we have been a part of the organization since. We have volunteered and participated in many functions. My son and I both spoke on Epilepsy Education Day for ESF last year and recently participated in the Meet and Greet program. I am honored to be apart of such an amazing organization that not only helps those affected with epilepsy but helps the entire family. Every time I talk to the Executive Director Tom Orth I learn something new, he is knowledgeable and passionate about helping others. ESF has many programs that can help everyone in the family. I am forever thankful for the help and support they have given my son and my family.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My experience with the Epilepsy Services Foundation has been one of enlightenment and fulfillment. It was wonderful to witness a group of people from all walks of life coming together, raising awareness for a cause that some have been personally touched by and others have no personal attachment. That is the true meaning of community. Not only is the Epilepsy Services Foundation 100% non-profit but the time and the energy that is taken out of member's and participant's personal lives leaves me in awe. Nothing is done for personal gain or accolades but rather the intrensic joy that is received from the change that occurs in helping someone not equipped with things that you and I take for granted on a daily basis. The most impressive and beautiful thing about this change is that it does not come from pity and over-coddling, which can often be more of a hinderance than a long-term asset, but rather in the form of information via awareness. The awareness that they are not alone and that there are medicines and programs available that can help. The efforts of the Epilepsy Services Foundation has given those effected by any form of epilepsy a feeling of importance and a place in the world.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering and a board member for two years. This has been a awesome experience. When I needed help and direction for my young daughter they were their to help me. We are greatful for all there support.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

MY DAUGHTER BRITTANY HAS A RARE FORM OF EPILEPSY. THEY HELP ME GET TICKETS TO DISNEY ON ICE FOR MY DAUGHTER. THEY SENT HER TO CAMP BOGGY CREEK AND ALSO HELP US BRING EQUIPMENT FOR FREE INTO OUR HOME FOR HER CARE. I WOULD BE LOST WITH OUT THEM. WHEN I NEED INFO ON NEW MEDS OR HELP WITH A DOCTOR THEY ARE ALWATS THERE FOR ME. THANKS ESF. THE VANHOOK FAMILY

1 RBH_FL

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have participated in fundraising walks with ESF for many years and from the very beginning was extremely impressed with how the executive director, Tom Orth, reached out personally to participants to thank them for their support. Over the years I became a regular volunteer in the Purple Day Walk for Epilepsy held annually to raise funds to send kids with epilepsy to summer camp, and in January had the honor of being elected to the Board of Directors. We are a very small non-profit in the traditional sense in that we only have ONE paid employee and are almost completely volunteer driven, yet we have so many programs and events that we help children and adults affected by epilepsy in Hillsborough, Polk, and Pinellas counties (Florida) - which for those not familiar is the Tampa / St. Pete area. I am so privileged and honored to volunteer with this organization and plan to continue to associate myself with them for a very long time!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

(I apologize in advance for any typos, as I recently dislocated my shoulder during an epileptic seizure and am typing 1 handed.) As both "client" and volunteer with ESF I can honestly say that this is a true non-profit that cares more about the people helped than to ever making $$ for themselves. Through a variety of walks and other events ESF not only brings Epilepsy awareness and education to the community, but also raise funds to send kids with Epilepsy to summer camp, college scholarships for students with Epilepsy as well as for those going into the field of neurology, and more. I am really glad I have become involved with ESF and hope to continue to be for a long time.

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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a professional in the Tampa Bay area, I have countless of opportunities to get involved and give back to the community. I am fortunate enough to have met many fund raisers and Executive Directors with numerous organizations. In all my years, however, I have never met a more dedicated, involved, caring and hard working man as Tom Orth (executive Director for Epilepsy Services Foundation). Not having any family members directly impacted by Epilepsy, I am often asked why I devote so much of my time to this organization. The answer is Tom Orth. His enthusiasm and passion is contagious. If you are looking for answers about how to deal with Epilepsy (because it affects the entire family, not just the individual), please call Tom. His compassion will come through during your first conversation.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

A great non-profit starts with a great leader and Tom Orth, Executive Director is one of the best. Within the short time that I've been on the Board, ESF has jumped leaps and bounds in fundraising and awareness. This could not be done without the dedication of our volunteers, Board members and Tom Orth. The future of ESF is bright and I am grateful to be a part of it!

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My connection to Epilepsy Services Foundation (ESF) began when I was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 5 and was told that I would have to take medication for the rest of my life. I had a mild form of seizures called absence seizures which made me "blank out" or lose consciousness for a few seconds. The seizures were more socially disturbing during my childhood than anything, but I was blessed to have outgrown them by the time I reached my teen years. Before meeting Executive Director of ESF, Tom Orth, I was very skeptical about charitable organizations. Since then, however, I've experienced ESF's dedication to serving those with epilepsy first hand. I started with ESF by volunteering at its annual Live Music Series in 2010 and working a concession stand at a Tampa Bay Buc's football game to raise money. I also participated its H.O.P.E. Training (Helping Other People with Epilepsy) where I learned so much more about the disorder. ESF and Tom Orth gave me hope that there are organizations out that there truly care about serving the community.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a mother of a child with epilepsy and a nurse. I became a board member this year as a way of giving back. My son and our family have personally benefitted from the foundation - he has been able to attend Camp Boggy Creek for the last 8 years. To watch him grow through camp has been the most wonderful thing. This is his last year to attend and he looks forward to going back as a volunteer. I was awarded a scholarship through the foundation to continue my schooling as I work toward my ARNP specializing in pediatric neurology. I am also a member of the HOPE mentoring team - helping the community through teaching and mentoring those in need. I could go on and on about the wonderful things the foundation provides. Let there never be a question that this organization is a vital one in this community. Thank you ESF!

1 Suzy M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

In my years as both a volunteer and board member at the Epilepsy Services Foundation, I have learned so much! I have learned about epilespy, how it affects the person affected with it, and the channels these persons go through to receive treatment. The Epilepsy Services Foundation provides invaluable services to the epileptic community. They send kids to Camp Boggy Creek, provide scholarships, and offer guidance to the community they serve. There is not another non-profit that i have been associated with as either a volunteer or board member that is so communited to their cause.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a business leader in our community, I am often approached to donate time, money and energy to many different charitable organizations. While all are deserving, I have a special place in my heart for Epilepsy Services Foundation. Every year, thanks to the efforts of Tom Orth, Executive Director, ESF is able to send children affected by Epilepsy to a Summer Camp where for 1 week during the entire year, they feel normal. Notice I did not say special, they feel normal. To see the look on a kid’s face that ordinarily has to be treated special being treated as a normal kid, it really is worth every bit of energy and time.

In addition to the camp, ESF also provides scholarships to people affected by Epilepsy to allow them to further their academic progress. They also provide scholarships to those entering into fields that will help those affected by Epilepsy.

While other organizations are truly deserving, I am especially proud to be on the board of ESF. I see first hand the difference a few people can make in the lives of so many.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with The Epilepsy Foundation for a period of 5 years. I am always amazed at the level of concern always about clients, their care and their families. All decisions in the organization are based on service to people affected with Epilepsy and their families and care takers.
In this day and age when bottom line is always the concern, it never superceeds concerns first for the clients.
The Epilepsy Foundation is an example for all organizations to run by

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

It is going on six years that I have been involved with this fine organization. The dedication and determination of its volunteers and board members are second to none. I have seen firsthand what a difference a group of caring people, working on behalf of a caring organization, can make in the community. As a parent of a child with epilepsy, I just want to thank Tom Orth and all the volunteers for their incredible perseverance and encourage anyone looking for education, assistance, or just someone to lean on, to consider ESF.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Epilepsy Services Foundation is an organization committed to funding valuable services to all those affected by Epilepsy. The organization raises funds through golf tournaments, an annual "Hare Race", Live Music Series, BBQ ribs for kids and more. Through the funds raised by ESF, people are given the opportunity to continue their education; both those directly impacted by Epilepsy and those looking for ways to help those affected with Epilepsy. Every year through grants given by ESF, kids are given the opportunity to attend Camp Boggy Creek. At this camp, kids with Epilepsy are allowed to be around other kids with Epilepsy and are given the chance to feel "normal". I ask you to visit their website and see for yourself the great experience this offers. For years, Epilepsy Services Foundation has proven to be a strong member of the Tampa Bay area. With the guidance and direction of the Executive Directo, Tom Orth, ESF remains at the forefront of reputable and honorable organizations.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a proud parent of a young adult who has lived with the daily challenges of refractory epilepsy since early childhood. In addition, I have had the honor and privilege to work as an active board member, both local and state wide, with the executive director of Epilepsy Services Foundation, Inc. I have witnessed the good work this organization does. This is a grassroots Foundation created, run, and governed by persons affected by epilepsy; a caring and dedicated organization that has the commitment to improve the lives of all persons served through a variety of quality programs. As a donor and accountable board member,I can state with confidence that the gifts this Foundation receives are returned to the community so that persons affected by epilepsy can receive services that may not otherwise be possible. Linda Landreth-Harris Niceville, Florida